Day 28 | 2023 Flotilla to Alaska | Explorer Basin to Red Bluff Bay

We awoke to a gorgeous morning in Explorer Basin! The group left the anchorage in shifts. First out was Seabear, who reported back they were again seeing humpbacks bubble-net feeding outside the entrance. Our route in and out of this place is definitely on the herring trail because the waters around here are just bubbling with ’em!

Some swell and some chop (and some fog) out in Chatham, but not too bad. Airship and Free Solo left around 6am and had our own closeup show as well.

Two’s Out left maybe an hour and a half later, and yep, still going. What an amazing thing to get to see!! We also had about 30 Dall’s porpoises surfing our bow for what seemed like hours!

Out in Chatham as we headed north, the wind picked up a bit (15kts or so on the nose) with a 1-2ft chop as well as the decreasing swell, but the skies cleared and the sun came out and you can’t beat the scenery here on a pretty day.

We pulled into Red Bluff Bay, dropping prawn traps on the way, and anchored at the head of the bay. We were just after a minus tide (-2.2), so a lot of the mudflat was visible, which was interesting to note as we watched that area completely disappear within a few hours. We kept expecting to see bears (low tide, sun, yummy grass to eat), and it took awhile, but pretty soon one bear, then another, then another, then another! They all kept to themselves and had their lunch while we watched with binocs from our boats.

This guy all of a sudden took off running, jumped in the water, and swam just a little ways before climbing up onto the rocks and heading off into the woods.

This is such a gorgeous place and it’s so hard to capture to grandeur of it all with a camera. (It’s hard enough to internalize the vast beauty even when you’re right here in it!)

Two’s Out and Seabear at anchor in Red Bluff’

Prawning has always been successful here, and today was no different.

First pull gave us 48 beautiful spot prawns

We met for group dinner on Airship (grill night!) and we cooked up some of the halibut we caught the other day, some spot prawns, sausages and hot dogs, served with sides of veggies and rice, and brownies for dessert. Super fun evening with a great group!

After dinner, Kevin took the drone up for some aerials:

Look how you can see the shoal underwater in this shot
This is the lake, way up high, where a lot of the waterfalls on the south side come from
Waterfall from the lake in the previous photo (with Serengetti in the foreground)
Amazing. Head of the bay.
Boats at anchor in Red Bluff Bay

After the drone flight we went back out to check prawn traps and had 35 more, and also we saw another brown bear on shore. That makes five today!

Tomorrow, a shorter day (21nm) up to Takatz Bay…another one of our favorite spots!